5 May 2017.
MARIE CURIE et la LUMIÈRE BLEUE ***1/2 (vo French)
Most of us know Marie Curie as the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Physics (in 1903), along with her husband Pierre, for their research in radium. But we know little about her private sphere and the scandal of her later love life which threatened her second Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Writer, producer and director Marie Noelle became fascinated when she read about Curie’s love affair with a scientific colleague, the married Paul Langevin. So she researched further, wrote the scenario and has brought to light another dimension of this extraordinary, and liberated woman who fought hard to fit into a man’s world in the early 20th century.
The delicate beauty of Polish actress Karolina Gruszka is perfect for the Polish-born Curie, and Charles Berlinger is fine as her husband Pierre. The Curies had an ideal marriage in their deep love and scientific partnership until Pierre was killed in a traffic accident. Marie was crushed, left with her two daughters to face alone the daunting scientific community in France.
This beautifully-filmed account of her struggles to continue her research and become a professor at the Sorbonne, her encounters with such personalities as a young Albert Einstein and her affair with Langevin (handsome Arieh Worthalter), while raising two brilliant daughters (one who went on to win a Nobel in her own right), shows the free spirit of a woman way ahead of her times.
ET LES MISTRALS GAGNANTS **** (vo French)
Having a child with a degenerative or incurable disease is an agony for the parents and for the child, but this French documentary by Anne-Dauphine Julliand, who herself lost two daughters, highlights rather their incredible courage and endurance. The film follows the treatments, the playtimes, and the camaraderie that develops between five children from 6 to 9 years of age, and the remarkable care they receive day after day from their doctors and nurses.
However tragic the situation, it is heartening to see the energetic humor, understanding, and acceptance of these little people who know that every day counts fully, for it may be their last. One of them says “Riens n’empêche d’être heureux”, another just remarks “quand je serai mort, je serai plus malade”… Incredible. These children seem truly wiser and deeper than most adults.
The lovely 43 year-old director Julliand, author of two books on the same subject, has made this documentary a movingly beautiful and humbling experience, poignantly underscored by Renaud’s song for which the film is named, as background.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.